Mr Speth, what is behind the SV Hotel brand, and how do you view your positioning?
SV Hotel is part of the SV Group – a successful Swiss gastronomy and hotel management group. For more than ten years, we have proven with flair and experience that we are passionate about being hosts. And we have not only been able to impress our guests with this attitude, but also managed to convince Marriott in 2006, which has since become our largest hotel partner. Strong brands combined with our know-how represent the formula for success for SV Hotel. Since then, we have been running five hotels with the brands Courtyard, Residence Inn and Renaissance in Switzerland and Germany. What’s more, seven new hotel projects are being planned in large German cities, as well as the first Moxy Hotel in Lausanne, Switzerland. We are focussing on two trend-setting concepts: first of all, the “Extended Stay” concept with the brand Residence Inn and, secondly, the “Economy Lifestyle” concept with the brand Moxy. The wide variety of new projects show that we have established ourselves as a trustworthy and reliable franchise partner.
You have been committed to climate protection with myclimate for many years now, how did this cooperation start?
For SV Hotel, one thing is clear: we all have an obligation towards leaving upcoming generations with a world unburdened by a legacy of environmental pollution, to ensure they are also free to live their lives as they wish. This is why we initiated the partnership with our first Courtyard hotel in Zurich. In 2011, the general manager at that time launched the cooperation and also received the Milestone Award as a result of this, the most important award in the Swiss tourism sector.
What were your reasons for expanding the individual measures, and not only in the hotel, but also throughout the region and internationally?
Climate protection is a topic that cannot be viewed one-dimensionally. For us, it was very clear from the very start that we wanted to view and implement climate protection from a holistic perspective. And it was therefore important to is in this regard to choose myclimate as a partner. Behind the term “all-round protection” we have established a “three-pillar model”: for example, we are supporting an international climate protection project in Uganda, with the objective of providing clean drinking water for schools and households, which in turn should reduce the number of illnesses. Nationally, both partners are working towards sensitising upcoming generations and organising joint educational events such as “Climate-friendly cooking”, and energy and climate workshops. In the hotel, only the most efficient sources of energy and resources are used – CO₂ emissions are analysed and evaluated. One extremely important aspect of all three pillars, however, is the integration of upcoming generations. In the hotel we take the training of our young hoteliers very seriously, and place a great deal of importance on sensitising them towards the subject of sustainability.
How do you involve your employees? How important is this target group?
In the hotel sector, we are hosts with direct, personal contact with our customers and guests. As a service provider, our employees and colleagues are our most important asset – you could say they are our “USP”. They are the ambassadors when it comes to our commitment towards environmental protection, and they ensure these messages are conveyed to our guests. Last year various training sessions were held together with myclimate for our reception personnel, in order to sensitise them and communicate “all-round climate protection” correctly. Further education and training as well as the satisfaction of our employees is generally very important to us. And we are therefore very happy when our trainees are able to take on new challenges within our company after completing their apprenticeships. The growing number of locations, which we will be present in in the future, offer a significant portfolio of possibilities, which in turn offers both sides with a win-win situation.
How do your guests experience “all-round climate protection”? How can they make a contribution towards it?
The “all-round climate protection” program also includes the myclimate rooms. For a minimal surcharge per night, hotel guests can make their stay climate-neutral and thus make an active contribution towards climate protection. And the figures speak for themselves: since the introduction of the myclimate category, the option has been sold more than 15,000 times. Furthermore, guests who are staying for a longer period of time can also choose to dispense with the daily cleaning of the room, and in return receive additional loyalty points on the Marriott Rewards account. And this is not only working in our hotel with selected service, but also very well in our full-service Hotel Renaissance Zurich Tower hotel.